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Front differential fluid!!

Discussion in 'Aerostar Forum' started by caravanturbo, November 5, 2009.

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    1. caravanturbo

      caravanturbo New Member

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      City, State:
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      hey guys i just bought a 95 xlt 4wd and i'm trying to change the front diff fluid.
      1. What kind of fluid should i use? i looked it up at partsource and it says to use atf? but i've never heard of a diff that takes atf.
      2. it there and way to drain the fluid with out removing the whole diff assembly?

      any info/tips would be great, thanks a bunch
       
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    3. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to this forum! You have to remove the cover to drain the fluid. There is a fill plug on the top corner. Do you have an owner's manual? It should say what type of fluid to use. I use gear oil for the rear on mine.
       
    4. caravanturbo

      caravanturbo New Member

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      thank you! and yes for the rear u just take the cover off but on the 4wd FRONT differential there are 2 problems, there is about an inch between the front crossmember and the diff cover so u cant get to all the bolts, number 2 is that i've found in 2 different lubricant books that the FRONT differential takes ATF, but i have never seen a diff take atf before! plus the old stuff thats in it is tan colored and milky because my vent popped off and i got water in it. and i cant find anywhere on the intrernet that says anything about what fluid it takes :(
       
    5. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This is what Ford recommends:

      LUBRICANT CAPACITIES:
      U.S. Ounces: 35. Liters: 1.04. Dana Model 28-2 Front Drive Axle.

      Use Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-Purpose Automatic Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or -DDX or equivalent MERCON® fluid.

      Another part of the manual says:

      Dana 28: 48 ounces. 1.41 liters. Dana 35: 56 ounces. 1.65 liters.
      Use 4x4 Gear Oil, F1TZ-19580-A meeting Ford specification WSL-M2C191-A (F1TZ-19580-A has no equivalent).

      One more part of the manual says:

      Dana 35 IFS: 52 ounces. 1.54 liters.

      Use non-synthetic Unocal Thermal Stable Lubricant (Dana No. 44684) meeting Ford specification WSP-M2C197-A.
       
      Last edited: November 6, 2009
    6. caravanturbo

      caravanturbo New Member

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      thanks alot i got the fluid changed and instead if dropping the axle i just took out all of the bolts except the top 3 and pried the pan out just enough for all the fluid to drain. squirted some copper silicone in between and its good to go with no leaks so far!!

      changing of front differential fluid completed :thumbsup:
       
    7. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    8. tor

      tor New Member

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      I am trying to do the same thing. Question: The plug that sits on the left side of the differential (about half way up), is that the fill plug/hole? Is that fillhole the level of oil needed. (i.e. it should come out of that plughole when the oil level is correct?
       
    9. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Good thought- for you guys that ask for a solution, then find one, post what all you DID!!! It helps the forum by having the info here for other members, like what fluid you used, and how much- since it was apparently an issue in the book!! :)
       
    10. biggun

      biggun New Member

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      Front differential fluid

      The front diff takes ATF as it has needle bearings and seals. If you use gear lube it will eat the seals and fry the bearings.
       
    11. eemer600

      eemer600 New Member

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      Yes, it is Dexron/Mercon in the Aerostar front Differential

      I can testify to what the previous post said about what happens when someone puts gear oil in the Aerostar from differential. A shop who thought they knew better put gear oil in my front differential, and then it would not hold anything. I kept refilling it with Mercon, but it would not hold. The seals were already shot. Then the ring/pinion got ate up and noisy. Good news is the bearings never failed.
       
    12. mobilemetric

      mobilemetric New Member

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      I originally checked out this thread in hopes of a real answer but now I'd like to share what I have found. I am a one man repair shop and use alldatapro which lists the spec for the front dif fluid but no actual viscosity or anything useful. This was for my 1996 exploder xlt. Just bought it two months ago with 135k on it owned by two nice old ladies.
      So I finally call the local dealer in rio rancho, don chalmers ford and talk to cliff in parts. He's been there quite a while. At first he has nothing for me but then realizes that I'm giving him a specification - w-blah blah blah. He picked up a bottle of ford gear lube and reads the spec on it and it matches. It is 80w90. He said the funny thing is this part number bottle used to read 'front differential fluid' but now reads 'rear...'.
      When I rechecked the spec for REAR dif fluid on alldata, besides listing 80w90 it gives the very same specification as the FRONT dif. FURTHERMORE, cliff tells me that when he changed HIS dif fluids he went to synthetic 75w90 and gained 2mpg!
      Now, how accurate that 2mpg is I don't know, but he makes a good point. I used BG ultraguard in my fr & rr difs which I keep on the shelf and did gain mpg's although I did other work decarbonizing, flushing the trans, and changing the transfer case fluid using bg's synthetic atf and friction modifier. I could also have used syncro shift in the tc but I wanted as thin as possible for mpg's on a long trip.
      A word about gears and gearlubes: spur gears and helical gears can take up to a gl3 and 4 respectively (painting with a broad brush here) even a gl5 if the chemistry is right (don't want sulfur attacking brass syncros). But hypoid gears like a differential uses need friction protection because of high load and typically require a gl5. Putting atf in a differential is hard to imagine putting it mildly, considering it is more of a hydraulic fluid than a lubricant (although newer atf's are adding a bit of anti-wear agents and the like). Some front wheel drive vehicles have called for some pretty thin manual transaxle fluids but that is because by mounting the engine transversely no hypoid gears are used.
      One last thought on changing the front dif fluid; I used an evacuator with a 1/4" line through the fill plug and got pretty darn close to all of the old fluid out. Nothing beats making sure there aren't chunks of something laying on the bottom but for all the trouble that appeared to be I was quite pleased with the results. I did take the cover off the rear dif and wiped everything off that I could there.
       

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